The Greatest Love- Learning About God In A Changing World
By Brad Hewey
As Christians we know that God’s is the greatest love of all, but how do we tell that to a world that has grown up without knowing Him?
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The Greatest Love Of All
Of all the topics to write about in literature and music…. the topic of love moves the pen more than any other. Love moves the heart and takes us on journeys from the highest plateaus to the deepest of valleys. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette is as tragic a love story today, as it was when the ink had but dried on the pages over five centuries ago.
Whitney Houston had a string of colossal hits in the 1980’s and 90’s. Her song “ The Greatest Love Of All” was an anthem aimed at self-realization, encouraging listeners to find within, the power to love themselves. The lyrics in the last refrain of each chorus say ” learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.”
We can agree that it is important to know your inner strengths and weaknesses, to be comfortable in your own skin. To in effect, love yourself. But the greatest love of all is not in loving ourselves. In fact, we have put the love of self far above all others and abandoned the guidelines set out in scripture pertaining to love. From the perspective that matters most, Gods love is above all other loves.
God Is Love
Jesus tells us “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” 1st John 4:7 tells us to “love one another”, and that “love is from God.” Vs 16 goes on to say; “and we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
The “verse of verses” that has been translated into more languages than any other, John 3:16… reminds us that it was God, and only God….“who loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The very first sentence of the bible says ” In the beginning… God”. God was in the beginning, before dimensional time. God is love and he created love, and the beginning of love (as with all things) is God.
In 1964 Peter & Gordon released a song penned by Paul McCartney. The title ” World Without Love” is emphatically declared in the chorus….” I don’t care what they say I won’t stay in a world without love.” It’s a nice sentiment, but love in its purest form; Gods love, is continually being relegated to a back seat or is being removed from the equation altogether.
A Change In Times
I was listening recently to a Christian talk show that spoke about the new norms in education, and how we now have a couple of generations of children who have no connection at all to God and his love. It’s been many years now since prayers were removed and actually forbidden to be carried out by teachers in the classroom. Teaching about God or references to God in the grade school classroom do not happen. Literature or books that once made reference to God, have long since been removed from the curriculum, leaving bare the landscape of learning, in terms of any mention of or reference to God our father and creator.
The implementation of a more science-based curriculum to address the inquisitive aspects of learning is now mainstream, and its groundwork I believe is firm, and will not ever be altered or challenged. Why has it changed so these past years? It is simply mankind in a desire and love for self, to quell the God conscience that once permeated the schoolroom air like a beautiful fragrance. Boys and girls, growing up in faith, or at least aware of God and maintaining an element of consideration of who he was.
Man might say; ” I can’t stay in a world without love”, but what he really means is that he wants that love to be a love of his own choosing; with no place being left for the God who loves him, and gave himself for him.
Apart from those who homeschool their children, or send them to Christian or similar private schools, the education of our children for the past 25 years, is one without reference to God.
Considering the years that have now passed, millions of graduates have spent a dozen or so years of their lives in public grade school, with a total ban on anything that relates to God as creator, Father, and Savior of sinners. Children spending eight or more hours a day in classrooms; where the teachers now teaching, have themselves been schooled under the same “God be removed” system of education. If God is not part of anything in the long day at school, if God is not included in children’s lives at home, then for all of these children, the core principles and decisions of life are shaped by individuals and experiences that deny God his rightful place.
Who Is In Control?
When all of the questions one poses as a child and young teen are answered without any reference to God, it suggests that one can manage just fine without a God: “I am in control of my own destiny.” Young students, adolescents, and young adults have been presented a set of life skills, and are learning about a world, that is presented entirely without the God who created it.
Science and hard work are the answers to everything according to societal norms. Where did we come from? Science tells us we evolved. Is there something after this life? Society says it’s of your choosing, whatever works for you….run with it.
Those of us who are witnessing this, are saddened, but not necessarily surprised. The book of Revelation speaks of the Laodicean age, where men desire lives apart from God, and where even Christians and the church as a whole, are lukewarm in their desire to live faithfully and wholeheartedly for God. We as Christians can see this… but is there a way to initiate change?
It seems from scripture, that things for man will continue on a downhill slide, until the last soul is saved, and our Lord returns to rapture his own. We know, however, that we are called to continue… “Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
We All Need God’s Love
All souls need the love of God realized in their lives. We can only continue to reflect that in ours, not knowing who might respond, but knowing that God will not turn any away who are seeking him.
Our prayer today is that all might be ministered to, who are kept from God by the illusion that “self-empowerment” the “love of self”, is of all loves the best. Let’s trust that the overwhelming sense of a need for God’s love, would fill their heart, and change their lives.
The songwriter describes Gods love beautifully:
“The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell”
God’s continues today, reaching far and wide into every nook and cranny, that all might come to know him, to experience the unparalleled love of the Heavenly Father.
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith-affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder.
Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
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HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.Mike from MS